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ALEXANDER   VON   HUMBOLBT.                117
Recreation and employment were now absolutely
necessary for "William, to divert his mind from its
grief in the one exclusive direction. Alexander had
hitherto consoled his brother, and endeavoured to
cheer him, but the time had arrived when he was
obliged to leave him for a long period. The service of
science called him away.
He was to leave Berlin on the 12th April, J 829,
to commence the great expedition into Central Asia,
Ms famous second voyage into the interior of the
great Russian empire, to the Ural Mountains, Altai,
and the Caspian Sea. Before his departure he pro-
bably felt that his mourning brother should not be
left in the solitude of the Castle of Tegel., at the grave
of his Caroline; and it is probable that he had re-
quested the king., who had become more his friend
than his patron, to divert his brother by official em-
ployment, for soon after Alexander's departure, the
king summoned William to Berlin at the head of a
commission, for the interior arrangement of the new
museiim, and this new sphere was most excellently
adapted for him, as he was quite ai& fait in these
matters, and as he was obliged again to enter into
nearer intercourse with well-known men, such as
Ranch., Tiech, the sculptor; Schinkel, the architect
of the museum; Wach, the painter ; "Waagen, after-
wards director of the picture nailery; and Hirt; also
with the art-loving Crown Prince, the present king
Frederick "William IV., and with the other intellec-
tual circles of Berlin.
But Alexander also received a new public token of
royal favour and esteem shortly before Ms departure.
Although it could not fail that a scholar living in the
court of his king, who, by his birth, his travels, and
his reputation had come into contact with foreign
princes, should receive also the symbols of honour
and acknowledgment from the highest person in the
realm, and should not want the outer decorations oŁ
life., it will not be considered superfluous if we men-
tion that before his departure to Russia a rank was
conferred upon him which rarely becomes the share